The politics of neoliberal transformation on the periphery: a critical comparison of Greece and Turkey

Gonenc D., DURMAZ G.

SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN AND BLACK SEA STUDIES, vol.20, no.4, pp.617-640, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14683857.2020.1843284
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Historical Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.617-640
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Financialization and neoliberal globalization have increased the dependency of peripheral countries on core economies. This paper tracks the neoliberalization processes of Greece and Turkey, two neighbouring countries on the periphery of Europe. By using a comparative political economy method and borrowing from the variegated capitalism literature, it critically investigates how these two Mediterranean countries were affected by the 2008 global financial crisis, their variant responses, and the impacts of those responses within their historical specificities. The development trajectories of these two countries were similar until the 1980s, but diverged thereafter. Before the 2008 financial crisis erupted, both Greece and Turkey had neoliberal trajectories; the process they experienced through the crisis (how they were impacted by the crisis, as well as how they responded) varied; yet, capitalist restructuring deepened in both countries after the crisis. This was achieved through rising authoritarian populism in Turkey and the pressure of international institutions (both the International Monetary Fund [IMF] and the European Union [EU]) in Greece. Given that Greece is a member of the EU and Turkey is a longstanding candidate, the variances between Greece and Turkey's neoliberalization processes and the differing impacts the 2008 global financial crisis had on them make studying the contrasts between these countries important and timely.